My husband and I had an appointment in Bethesda the other day. As we crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and headed into Old Town Alexandria, I asked him, if this was the only way to get there.
“No,” he said, “we could go up the beltway and around.” I asked him if this way was faster. “No,” he said, again, “it’s probably slower, but it’s more scenic. The other road takes you by industrial parks and construction debris. This way,” he said, gesturing towards the wooded bank of the Potomac River, “you have lots of beautiful things to look at.” We continued in silence past the Washington Memorial, under Memorial Bridge, pas the Kennedy Center, and up the GW Parkway. “Life is short,” he said, smiling, “and it’s a beautiful day.”
So much of our life is about expediency. Expediency is the foundation on which the fast food industry is built – quick, cheap, and consistently banal. Expediency is why so many of our products are made in China. As knitters, we understand the value of slow, pleasant, and beautiful. I think that many knitters, either knowingly or unconsciously, are reacting to the pressure of expediency. Knitting is certainly not the most expedient or least expensive way to get a sweater, hat, or scarf. We could easily dash over to Talbots or Target and pick up a perfectly serviceable garment right now –probably on sale. But knitters choose to knit. Not because it’s quick, but because it’s such a lovely journey.
In our busy and overfull lives, we make space to knit because we enjoy it. Gone are the days when knitting was what women did because men needed socks and fishing sweaters and warm woolen hats. This is a conscious choice we make. So why would you knit with any fiber or tool that you didn’t love? We have so little time to sit and relax and knit. Those minutes are precious. Indulge yourself a little bit when you do. You can choose to knit with whatever yarn you like, but make sure that it truly pleases you. Do you love its feel as it passes through your fingers? Are your needles lovely to look at and delightful to hold? Is the pattern one that brings you the challenge or relaxation you need? I hope so. Because you and your knitting deserve the best you can get. It’s your time that you spend knitting – make it a wonderfully pleasant experience every time.